Monday, August 26, 2013

On Vacation

I'm taking a few days off this week, heading to The Big Apple to meet up with a friend who's visiting from Australia.  Last time I saw her was six years ago, also in New York City.  Then, it was late October and bitter cold.  This week's forecast is much warmer and sunnier, should make riding around on the double decker tour bus feel a lot less like sitting in a freezer turning into a popsicle and more like being a piece of bacon sizzling in a frying pan, but I'm okay with that!
Free vintage clipart image courtesy of
- poster by Adolphe Treidler
I may or may not have a chance to blog while I'm there.  I posted last Friday using my new iPhone and it worked like a charm, we'll see what kind of luck I have in NYC with only WIFI service to rely on (my hotel charges $15 a day for Internet service, I will not be signing up for that!!). We'll see how it goes.

Have a good week!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Scenes from a Tennis Tournament

Our annual cottage tennis tournament, affectionately known as "Wimpleton" was this weekend. The weather was perfect - sunny and warm (although hot on the court, where there is no shade after 10 a.m., especially when you're chasing after little yellow balls!) and no wind (good for hitting balls, not so good for keeping cool).

I filled in as a sub and played two mixed doubles matches, which was exciting, since I haven't been able to compete since I hurt my back 8 years ago (the required minimum of three matches, sometimes all on one day, would be too much).  We play 12 games for each match, 6 with one partner and then we switch partners.  Here I am with Saturday's partners, Zen and Paul:

Here I am with Sunday's teammates, Terry and Tim (Cooper the dog did not get to play, much to his dismay):

Alas, none of my partners made it to the semi-finals, in spite of my best efforts to assist them.

At the end of the first day, cottage neighbours Dave and Leanne hosted a potluck cocktail party.  Everyone got cleaned up, brings food, had a few drinks and relaxed while hashing over the great serves, missed shots and intense matchups that happened during the day, while speculating on the next day's finals.

A few of us stayed on later, admired the sunset and had a singsong out on the deck.

It was the perfect way to end a perfect day.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Heading to the Cottage

It has been a crazy busy week at work, full of rushes and last minute requests, combined with being short-staffed while others are on vacation.  I'm looking forward to a few days off myself next week but in the meantime, a couple of days at the cottage for our annual tennis tournament will be fun.

This is a friend's deck, isn't it lovely? If that was my deck, I'm not sure I'd ever leave it!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

A Subway Sunset

I took this picture a week or two ago as I was coming home on the subway one night as the sun was setting.  Every time I look at it, it still amazes me how tropical it looks. Don't you think?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Face Count Continues

Day 80 of the 100 Faces in 100 Days Challenge and I'm still on schedule.

Here are some of my recent faces:

Elf stamps provided by Dianne
at last week's play date at Bizzy B

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Those Shoes

I was downtown recently and saw these shoes decorated with flamingos.  I thought they were quite interesting to look at but couldn't imagine anyone actually wearing them!

I forgot to look at the price tag but I Googled the words "flamingo shoes" and found this link, which lists a price of 485 British pounds, which equates to (gasp!) $790 in Canadian dollars.  Are you kidding me??!  Did I mention they're made of plastic?!  Seriously crazy.

Monday, August 19, 2013

A Stick Bug

I know, you were probably expecting to see photos from the wedding I went to on Saturday but I just spent the past 1.5 hours downloading the photos from my phone, editing them and uploading them to Facebook so the bride and groom could see them and now I've got to get to bed! So for now, here's a stick bug that my sister showed me at the cottage just before the wedding.  It looks exactly guessed it!... a stick!  Cool, eh?

Saturday, August 17, 2013

A Cottage Wedding

I'm off to a wedding today.  The daughter of friends from the cottage is being married.  Of course, the daughter is a friend too, she's a total sweetheart.  She's marrying a sweetheart of a guy.  See how cute they are together?
I stole this photo off Laura's Facebook page!
I'll be taking my new iPhone to test out the camera function.  You can follow along with the festivities on Instagram via #seanlaurawedding if you are so inclined!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Water in the Storage Closet

About 2 months ago, I got a call from my cleaning lady to tell me there was a puddle of water underneath my vacuum cleaner.  Turned out I had water leaking from the tub, through the wall, into the storage closet.  I suspect the grouting and/or caulking were old and cracked and that's why the water was leaking.  There was a bubble in the drywall beside the tub on the bathroom side of the wall as well, which I had noticed but to which, I must be honest, I hadn't paid a lot of attention.  Here's the before shot, where you can see the dark stuff that might have been mold and the bubbly drywall above the baseboards, the peeling floor tiles:

The water damage went unnoticed for heaven knows how long because there was a shelf unit standing against that wall that covered it up completely.

Lucky for me, the superintendent of my building arranged for me to get new tiles installed in the tub surround of my bathroom, as well as new fixtures.  The drywall at both ends of the tub was repaired, replaced and/or repainted as required.

All work was properly inspected by the appropriate authorities.

Just yesterday, the last stage was completed to finish the job when they installed a new ceramic floor in the storage closet to replace the old peel-and-stick floor tiles that had been there previously.  What a treat!

Of course, it all took a while to get done because anyone who does any kind of plumbing or renovation work has been incredibly busy since the great storm and flood of July 8th.  I knew my job wasn't a priority by any stretch of the imagination and that's okay.  But now, everything is done and I can finally put all the stuff from the storage closet back in there, stuff which has been piled in various spots around my apartment for the past two months. Maggie has inspected the final job and deemed it to be acceptable.

From now on, the only liquids in my storage closet will be cleaning supplies in containers and the kind that gets turned into little clay balls in the litter box!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Weird But True

I found a rainbow in the litter box the other morning.

Luckily, that was all I found in there at the time! ;)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

More Numbers Pages

Here are the pages made for our August "numbers" theme by my fellow Journal Junkies members, taken at our monthly meeting this past Monday night at Bizzy B.

Bette's page, based on the song by Three Dog Night called "One Is The Loneliest Number":

Louise had two pages, the first one a collage made using numbers found in magazines, from cover pages and advertising, which she called "Persuasion by Number"

and this second one, made using various art supplies she had with numbers on them (washi tape, rubber stamps, tags, etc.)

Here is Barb's page, which she made this past Sunday during our play date at the store:

Diana's page had an overlay with a bunch of numbers on it:

Underneath, just a few numbers that have special significance for her - since they are the ages of her 4 sons.  The textured background is made from the inside of coffee cup holders.

Kelly's two page spread was based on the idea that "life begins and ends with numbers".  All our lives, numbers define us - our age, weight, phone number, year of birth, school grades, social security number, etc.

She made a different page using the same theme for the store's copy:

Every month, I am astounded by the variety of pages that are created using the same theme with completely different and unique results!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


That was to be the theme of our August pages for the Journal Junkies group.

I started with two pages in my journal that I had previously decorated using a gelli plate.  Then I started adding washi tape.  After a few minutes, the two pages looked like this:

I added a bit more tape and then painted the edges of the page to remove those white borders (caused by the fact that the gelli plate is a bit smaller than the journal itself, no biggie.  Sometimes I like having a border but for this creation, I didn't).

I found a quote by Jean Guitton on the Internet about prime numbers and added it on the right side:
Apologies for the lighting, it's getting dark
earlier these days and I didn't want to wait until
tomorrow to take a picture in natural light.
I really liked the left side as it was (thank you, Dina Wakley, for creating the silhouette stencil!) so all I did on that side was add the word "Originality" using a rubber stamp alphabet and then coloured in the letters.

Voila!  A finished journal spread, easy peasy!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Words on a Sidewalk

The other day, I passed this construction sign being held in place by an orange sandbag and noticed there seemed to be some words written underneath it in string or caulking material.

It looks like it might say "world hope" but who knows? I wish I had thought to lift up the edge of the sandbag and see what other letters might be under there...

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Night At The Museum

Took my new iPhone to the museum last night, as it is open until 8:30 p.m. on Fridays (every other night it closes at 5:30 p.m., don't ask me why).  Got there just in time to do the 6 p.m. "museum highlights" tour with a docent (me and about 25 other people - should have known it would be busy on a summer evening at the height of tourist season!). I hadn't done that tour in a year or two so thought it would be a fun way to get a refresher taste of the museum after being away for a couple of months.  Plus every docent focuses on a few different things, so it's never the same tour twice.

The highlights included the dinosaur in the lobby:

This totem pole from British Columbia, believed to be one of the largest ever made.

This Chinese carriage (one of only a few left on the planet, since the majority were broken up and used for firewood once the motor car arrived.  It seems no one knew they'd be historically important 200 years later!?!)

These Shogun outfits (remind you of anyone in a popular science fiction movie? George Lucas freely admits using Japanese warriors as the inspiration for Darth Vader).

I missed some of the description of these outfits because I was so appalled by the guy beside me leaning on whatever artifact this was, and I was busy trying to sneak a photo!  Geez, dude, show a little respect!

The tour continued with this mummy

but not this one.

Another dinosaur, one of only 6 in the world of this type and the only one with the full horn on its head, the use of which scientists can only speculate about (they think it was used to make loud noises, as it is connected to the dinosaur's airways).  This is actually a copy of the head in the display, the real one is in a lab somewhere within the museum as so many scientists from around the world come and study it.

We ended with a stop at this meteorite

which we all were invited to touch ("probably the oldest thing you'll ever touch in your lifetime", said the docent).  It is possible this meteor (which I think was found in the meteor impact crater in Arizona, but don't quote me until I have a chance to get back to the museum to confirm that statement) may have played a part in killing off the dinosaurs all those many years ago, when dust particles from the impact filled the earth's atmosphere and blocked out the sun, killed off plant life and eliminating the food source for all of the plant-eating varieties of dinosaurs.  When they died, the meat eating dinosaurs didn't have anything to eat any more either and that was that.  But of course, that's just one theory!

Then I had a quick walk around and looked at some other things on my own but by then I was tired of the crowds and ready for a late dinner.  I think I'll wait until the fall to visit again, when Friday nights get quiet again and it's easier to imagine things coming to life at night when all the people are gone, just like they do in the movie "Night at the Museum"!

Friday, August 9, 2013

11,629 Steps

That's how many I walked today, between the 2 mile walk I did in my living room before breakfast (courtesy of a new Leslie Sansone DVD I picked up the other day) and then all the walking I did after work tonight when I headed downtown for a visit to the museum (which is only open Friday evenings).
Photo from
Phew! No wonder I'm pooped. Too pooped to post!  Photos to come tomorrow, once I've been to the Apple store for my iPhone training.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Call Me Excited

I finally got a Smartphone!  My previous phone was fine for making calls but it wasn't very clever and it totally sucked when it came to taking pictures.  But now, I've moved ahead into the 21st century (finally) and got myself an iPhone 4S.

No, it's not the latest in their phone technology but this one is compatible with all the existing Apple gadgets I have for my iTouch (such as my collection of international plug adaptors, so important when travelling), whereas the more recent iPhone 5 has a different plug socket and would require the purchase of all new stuff.  Then again, this phone came with a little box full of goodies too.

Plus I had to get myself a protective cover.  At first, I was tempted by the bold look of zebra stripes but that was before I saw the cute little colourful owls.  No contest.

Luckily, since I already have an iTouch, I'm familiar with the general concepts of how the phone works but there will still be a lot to learn.  I'm sure it will be fun, finding out all the cool stuff I can do with this phone.  So yes, call me excited.  Or better yet, just call me!